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Promoting Health and Fighting Chronic Diseases: What Impact on the Economy?

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From a welfare economic perspective, the most relevant cost concept is the value individuals attribute to health in general and chronic disease in particular, elicited for example by analysing how people act or how they answer certain questions related to real or hypothetical situations involving a trade‐off between money and health. It turns out that the social welfare benefit of health is much higher than the other more conventional (but incomplete) measures, and far too high to be ignored in public policy decisions (Viscusi and Aldy, 2003; Usher, 1973; Nordhaus, 2003; Costa and Kahn, 2003; Crafts, 2008). This value also captures the intrinsic value of health, a feature not shared by the other concepts.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: September 1, 2010


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